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Friday March 9, 2001

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Staff Opinion

Wildcat changes location, but not its campus coverage

The Arizona Daily Wildcat is saying goodbye to the UA - the daily paper will keep pumping out information for the campus community right after spring break.

The Wildcatis saying goodbye to the Memorial Student Union.

More precisely, it is saying goodbye to the newsroom in the basement that has been the Wildcat's home for the past quarter century, to the place where roughly the past 5,000 Arizona Daily Wildcats have been produced.

While the big move to the new newsroom at the Esquire Building, on 1230 N. Park Ave., will not affect our coverage of the campus, it will affect the staff and members of the community who are used to dropping by whenever they're in the union. We will no longer be just a few steps away from the smoothie bar. We will no longer be able to sneak out to the Mall for a quick breather while writing and editing stories on deadline.

We will no longer be located in the heart of the UA campus.

Of course, the campus is changing monumentally. Fall semester will bring us a university that looks almost nothing like it is now. The entire campus is adapting to these changes to the best of its ability - including the Wildcat.

Many wonder why the newsroom is so revered in the Wildcat staff's eyes. It is old. It is devoid of daylight. It is often referred to as the bowels of the Fiddlee Fig - by Wildcat staffers, nonetheless.

But for many, it is a home away from home. Spending hours upon hours doing work that they love in this old newsroom is what makes it so special.

The newsroom is of great significance to the university community for the impact it has had on so many staffers' lives. Some of the best journalists in the state and the country launched their careers within these walls. Many professional newspaper reporters, editors, cartoonists, photographers and advertising managers got their start with the Wildcat. The newspaper is a century-old institution at the University of Arizona, and has been located in the student union for decades. Checking out the Wildcat is how so many UA faculty, staff and students start their day, and it is often what unifies so many diverse parts of the campus.

It is this reality that propels the current Wildcat staff to continue doing its very best, no matter where its newsroom happens to be located. The newsroom location may be changing, but the newspaper's commitment to excellence in coverage is not. A new newsroom may leave many staffers feeling nostalgic, but it does not change the talent, attitude and passion with which the Wildcat staff does its job.

So as the university is deconstructed before our very eyes, the Wildcat will simultaneously adjust to its new setting while covering these ongoing reconstruction developments, as well as every other big story that hits the UA campus.

The Wildcat will continue to uphold its journalistic tradition despite a relocation. Though the Wildcat says goodbye to its old newsroom, it welcomes a fresh new beginning.

Staff Editorials represent the collaborative stance of the Wildcat Opinions Board.